United States

United States

Alaska passes 50% renewables 'goal'

US: Alaska has passed legislation calling for the state to derive 50% its electricity from renewable and alternative energy sources by 2025.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin launched the 50% renewables goal
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin launched the 50% renewables goal

House Bill 306 reinforces a 50% renewables goal announced by former governor Sarah Palin. Notably however, the goal is not binding on utilities.

The bill calls for Alaska to encourage economic development by promoting the development of alternative energy sources, including geothermal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, hydrokinetic, tidal and biomass.

Paradoxically, the bill also calls for the development of non-renewable resources including coal, oil and natural gas. It says the state should "remain a leader in petroleum and natural gas production".

The bill says the state should review and streamline energy regulation, but does not offer details on how this would be accomplished.

Governor Sean Parnell said: "The policy encourages coordination of government functions and streamlines regulatory processes across all levels of government."

Parnell has also signed into law SB 220, which calls on the governor to submit a report to legislature recommending how best to increase coordination and efficiency between energy-related agencies.

The report is due by January 31, 2011. Alaska has 7.8MW of wind installed, placing it 32nd among the 37 US states with wind capacity.

Its largest and most recent wind farm is the 4.5 MW Kodiak Island wind project, which came online last year.

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